January Letter from ‘The Ferns’ veggie B & B chatting about potatoes, glitter on cards and Valentines Day


It’s the New Year, so let’s talk potatoes! Well, why not.  When I went to the Christmas Food market nearby at  Donnington, I bought some unusual potatoes. In fact they were to cook for Christmas, but I bought them as seed potatoes. Although I generally have rosti on the menu for my B & B’rs, sometimes I will cook sautéed potatoes and this is where our home-grown potatoes come in. We have a decent sized garden and  we get  several rows of potatoes in every year; usually from our own seed. For example Pink Fir Apples- we have saved a few from last years crop. These are a firm, knobbly spud- OK as long as you don’t want to peel them.



Pink Fir Apples

The potatoes I bought before Christmas for seed potatoes are below. The ones to the left will be blue when they are cooked!

special spuds

From ‘Special Spuds’ company


I took this photo today and you can see that these are chitting! Why are they sprouting in the garage in the cold and dark? Don’t know.

The company I got them from is called  Special Spuds . They are from a local farm near Newport . They help organise the  Shropshire Potato Day on 4th February (10am-3pm) at Harper Adams University at Edgmond, a couple of miles away. Well worth a visit if you want something a bit unusual. There will be potato sellers there with between 130-150 varieties!

Christmas Cards

I always re cycle my Christmas cards, but I noticed this year that Telford and Wrekin – our local council  – are being quite strict with what we can and can’t recycle. Firstly, cards with glitter on, can’t be recycled- I suppose the glitter gets everywhere.

glitter cards

and secondly metallic paper. I have a roll of metallic paper left over unfortunately, but will try to go back to ‘paper’ paper next Christmas!

With all the worry about everything ending up in the sea, I shall try to be more eco-friendly when I buy cards and paper in the future. My  mission – to try and buy food without plastic wrapping continues –  I buy my peppers loose- one at a time -,  mushrooms in  paper bags, loose fruit at Market Drayton  open air market on a Wednesday etc.

I need to think about shampoos and shower gels next. Any ideas for how to not buy in plastic bottles? Please let me know.  My mum used to buy shampoos in individual paper sachets in the 50s- 60s. They were sort of flakes of soap. I know that Lush have shampoo bars. I shall investigate and tell you about it in my next newsletter.

Valentines Day in Shropshire


For Valentines Day and the week  of Sat 10th to Sat 17th, I will be offering a free bottle of wine  for visitors on their first night: red or white.

Here are some ideas for visitors to Newport in that week:

11th-12th Attingham Park Deer Feeding


10th – 11th February Blists Hill Ironbridge card making at  Victorian Valentine Weekend


Card making

14th February Valentines by Candlelight


14th February Kizomba Wednesdays   

Kizomba Wednesdays | All Saints Parish Hall Telford  | Wed 14th February 2018 Lineup


It’s still very cold, but spring is in the air and I saw a bumble bee the other day!

First sight of the forced rhubarb

Looking forward to my forced rhubarb in March

Looking forward to February & Spring in my garden, Liam  from Great British bake Off will be at the Newport Show in July and there will be  the return of the Nocturne Cycle Race ( and evening/night time cycle race round the streets of Newport).      Linda x